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GWAR

I

t's a safe bet that Richmond, Virginia had never seen anything quite like GWAR. Using pseudonyms like Oderus Urungus, Balsac The Jaws Of Death, Flattus Maximus, Beefcake The Mighty and Nippleus Erectus, among others, they became most famous for their stage acts featuring them donning papier-mâché masks, torture implements, S&M gear, futuristic armor, loin cloths and costumes of scrap Metal and leather; not to mention the stage props of fake vomit and fake semen (which would end off on the first several rows of the audience), crucifixes, et. al.

It all started when Punkster Dave Brockie of the act Death Piggy desired an operation that could incorporate elaborate stage props to a Metal show, and he got what he wanted, a larger-than-life band with a larger-than-life stage show! Their first U.K. tour was ground to a halt due to the questions from those worried about subjects of violence and morality making a nuisance of themselves. But in the U.S. they also would face the wrath of the morality squad when they were taken to court for allegedly displaying a large prop of an anatomically correct penis (they attempted to defend themselves by claiming that it wasn't a penis at all but was actually a fish). They would often thumb their noses at such people in their stage show, and by recording the track Morality Squad they made their comments clear. Based on fictional comic book-like characters, and claiming to come from Uranus (big surprise...), where they had been abducted to and mutated by a mad scientist and returned to Earth to enslave it via Antarctica, they set forth to conquer the music world. Their true origins, however, are probably hidden in the bowels of a men's toilet at some far off bus terminal.

GWAR (for God What A Racket) would publish a group of recordings featuring little more then basic Thrash Metal and filthy sex inspired lyrics; sometimes funny but always disgusting. Hell-O (1988) was their introduction and was a tame recording by their standards. It featured the original line-up of (using their real names for purposes of this documentary): Mike Bishop (bass), Dewey Rowell (guitar), Steve Douglas (guitar), Rob Mosby (drums), Dave Brockie (vocals) and Chuck Varga (back. vocals).

Scumdogs Of The Universe (1990), their next venture, added the female backing vocals of Danyell Stampe, while Mike Derks took over one of the guitar slots. America Must Be Destroyed (1992) followed, showing each successive album's ability to be more raunchier than the last. This Toilet Earth (1994) gave U.S. more of a hint into their fictional origins, but saw their most disgusting lyrical work yet. The bass spot was taken when Mike Bishop, who was brave enough to crawl into the sewer but by this time had tired of the smell, left and replaced by Casey Orr on the next release. Ragnarock (1995) was a surprisingly tamer effort and featured a balled The Road Behind, which would be the title of their follow-up compilation album. Peter Lee now took over the other guitar spot previously occupied by Rowell.

Believing that a change was as good as a rest, or so they thought, GWAR indulged on the side project X-Cops, shortly after their Ragnarok album, releasing the album You Have The Right.... shortly thereafter. The album was excessively violent and involved rather un-complimentary actions involving police. It was banned from importation or publication in several countries.

The next effort by GWAR was Carnival Of Chaos (1997). It received less fanfare than the previous works, and Violence Has Arrived (2001) was their latest work to date, and rumor has it they have changed their formulation a bit with more serious content than past performances. Their music traditionally remains anti-climatic without their visual stage performance.


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Nation USA
City Richmond, Virginia
Promotional Address Unknown
Genre Thrash Metal
Formations/Versions 1
Web Unknown
Active Years 1987-
E-Mail Unknown
Old RRCA File Code REV00275
New Reference Code 368